They will create technology that increases the effectiveness of radiotherapy for cancer and other diseases

a. Marek Mariinsky is the creator of one of the most innovative ways to visualize the three-dimensional dose distribution of ionizing radiation in jelly phantoms, which can be used, for example, in radiotherapy for oncological diseases. He is currently working, together with a team of scientists and students from the Gdansk University of Technology, on a methodology and technology to improve the efficacy of hadron radiotherapy. The aim of the research is to develop new solutions for oncology clinics around the world.

The success of the next generation of radiotherapy, which will use increasingly heavy ionized protons and particles, showing greater biological efficacy than X-rays or the more common gamma photons today, depends largely on the ability to quickly and accurately measure spatial distributions of doses and other relevant parameters. Therefore, there is a need, and this is the goal of our research, to develop a new type of gel dummy dosimeter (simulating human tissue), taking into account differentiation depending on the type of radiation and the type of tissue, such as brain, muscle, lung – says Dr. Marek Mariinsky, A.; GUT from the Institute of Nanotechnology and Materials Science at the Faculty of Technical Physics and Applied Mathematics at GUT, He added that the preliminary results of the research give hope that the method of verifying the accuracy of irradiation that his team is working on has a very good chance of success and will enter clinics around the world.

Already last year, along with our clinical partners, we published test evidence that our method can detect ‘cloud dose’ change errors of up to 0.5 mm. This high resolution is of particular interest, for example in intracerebral tumor metastases, where changes can be very small, multiple, and scattered. It is enough to make an error of a millimeter and the change is only partially irradiated, and at the same time we damage healthy tissues, which may be, for example, the optic nerve, the brainstem or other critical organs – emphasizes the professor. Marisky.

Students investigate properties of new gel dosimeters

The project involves (as part of the IDUB RADIUM program) postgraduate medical physics students in the field of biomedical engineering, coordinated by Dr. Brygida Mielewska, Prof. PG, Vice Dean for Education at WFTiMS.

Marta Cichacka models and studies the nanostructure mechanisms of the radiochromatic response of gel dosimeters under the influence of radiation (samples must be irradiated in summer, among other things, with helium and carbon ion rays at the University of Heidelberg and with neutrons at the National Nuclear Research Center in wierk). Sylwia Szczepańska analyzes the accuracy of the measurement method for the most important dosimetric parameters of proton therapy (the team collaborates in this field with the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow and with the world’s leading proton therapy centers). On the other hand, Julia Leszczyńska analyzes possible ways to shorten the scanning time of radioactive gels in laser tomography, which is currently being created in the department’s laboratory.

– The CT we are building is accurate enough, but still very slow. Scanning a sphere the size of a human head with a precision of about 1 mm takes about 45 minutes. An ambitious goal is to shorten this time to 2-5 minutes, which is critical if we think about introducing the device to clinics – emphasizes the professor. Marisky.

In turn, students Marta Cichacka, Julia Krzemińska, Anna Kusznerczuk and Klaudia Prusik (as part of the TECHNETIUM scholarship) will study the physical properties of the dosimeter, searching for answers to important questions for applications, for example regarding storage conditions, sensitivity, optical and mechanical properties.

Furthermore, (as part of the PLUTONIUM scholarship, the applicant of which was Professor Miliuska), a group of 15 students from the BioPhoton Research Club will participate in the initial integration of the entire measurement system, which consists of dosimeter gel phantoms, a laser device and a tomography and scanning program , reconstruct a 3D image, compare the measurement data with the treatment plan and create a summary final report for the medical physicists responsible for the accuracy of patient irradiation in radiation oncology clinics.

Read also: MEiN co-funding the student project “Innovations in 3D Gel Dosimetry for Proton Radiotherapy for Oncology”

Cooperation with the leading centers of the world

It is planned (as part of the AURUM scholarship) to create an international consortium (Poland, USA and Belgium) focusing on two directions of modern proton therapy: FLASH therapy and ARC proton therapy.

The first treatment is the one that enables accurate delivery of the entire therapeutic dose in an extremely short time, within 0.1 seconds. PG’s research team collaborates on this technology with the University of Pennsylvania’s flagship center in Philadelphia (USA).

The second approach, ARC proton therapy, is to use a precisely controlled rotation of the radiation beam source around the tumor area in order to better match the “dose cloud” to the shape of the tumor lesion. It is an experimental method in proton beam therapy and the only hospital in the world with a prototype device is William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan (USA), with which we are collaborating. We recently sent the first samples of radiation there – says the professor. Marisky.

The third partner site is Université Cathodes de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium, which neighbors and works closely with Ion Beam Applications (IBA), a leading and world-leading producer of cyclotrons for proton therapy.

Professor’s team. Maryański also collaborates with national clinical partners: the Department of Medical Physics at the Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy at the University Medical Center in Gdask, the Oncology Center in Bydgoszcz and the only proton therapy clinic in Poland at the Polish Nuclear Physics Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Bronowice near Kraków.

assistants a. Maryański in the project are MSc PhD students. Marta Marszewska (Medical Physics) and MA. Jacob Zubek (Nanotechnology). In analyzing millions of measurement data, the research team is supported by mathematicians from the department.

From the United States to Gdansk

a. Marek Marinsky is the creator of one of the most innovative ways to visualize dose distributions in 3D Ionizing radiation in polymeric gels that mimic human tissue in terms of elemental composition and density. The method of laser tomography can be used for illusions of transparent gels (which are part of the patient’s body), the color and density of which are subject to local changes, being a measure of the absorbed radiation dose, among other things. In checking the accuracy of exposure.

a. Maryański has returned to Gdańsk University of Technology (a GUT graduate) as part of the five-year “Polish Return” program of the National Agency for Academic Exchange after more than 30 years in research and development in the USA. Earlier, incl. He taught at Yale University and was an associate professor of radiation oncology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. The scientific purpose of the residence of the professor. Maryański at GUT is set to complete the development of a high-resolution 3D dosimetry technology for clinical applications in hadron radiation therapy. The research plan implemented under the Polish Return Program corresponds to the projects described above from the IDUB Scholarships.

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